Whether it’s something you don’t give a second thought or an evening ritual you relish, removing every scrap of makeup at the end of a long day should be the cornerstone of your skincare regime. A fresh, makeup-free face can prevent breakouts, dehydration and sensitivity, as well as allowing whatever you’re putting on it next to do its thing more effectively. That’s if you’re doing it properly. We asked top makeup and skincare experts how they go about it…
Remove Makeup Before Cleansing
We put makeup and products on our skin all day long, sometimes touching-up powder and base at midday and occasionally, applying more makeup if we’re going out. And though high-tech formulas that offer staying power and water-resistance are game-changers, they’re also not the easiest things to shift, and often don’t dissolve with a cleanser alone. “And when you add the body’s natural oil production to that layer of makeup, plus air pollution and the contact from our phones and hands, it’s literally a breeding ground for bacteria and infections,” explains medical aesthetician, Renee Lapino.
Don’t Skip Your Makeup Remover
Of course you could move on to your cleanser at this point but, if your foundation is long-lasting or your moisturiser contains an SPF, you’ll need a makeup remover to help shift it. “I start by soaking two cotton rounds with Nars Aqua-Infused Makeup Removing Water, sweeping it over the skin,” says Rachel Hardie, Nars National Events Manager. “It has this brilliant gel-like formula that lifts makeup and dirt like a magnet.” Choose one that contains hydrating and skin softening ingredients. NARS have put kiwi and coconut extracts in theirs to soothe and hydrate, whilst Sisley Gentle Eye and Lip Makeup Remover, contains skin soothers like cornflower and gardenia. Repeat until your cotton rounds come away completely clean – it will help prevent mascara circles in the morning.
Double Cleanse for Maximum Makeup Removal (Part One)
“My celebrity clients wear a lot of makeup at work and on the red carpet and it can wreak havoc on even the healthiest skin,” says facialist Kate Somerville. “Not only does double cleansing remove all of your makeup (as well as dirt and oils) but it’s also the best thing for deep cleaning pores.” Try to do it before 9pm – the skin regenerates the most between 9pm and midnight so it’s the optimum time for cleansing. And start with an oil-based cleanser. “Cleansing oils are great for all skin types as they hydrate the skin and attract excess oil as well,” adds Renee. “I especially like them in the evening because they remove makeup seamlessly and prepare the skin for the next step of ingredients.” Using your fingers, wipe a small amount across your skin and then lightly massage all over your face for about a minute to soften and invigorate the skin before rinsing with water.
Double Cleanse for Maximum Makeup Removal (Part Two)
Next, use a cleanser that’s specifically formulated for your skin type. “If you’re a commuter, look for cleansers with antioxidants like Goldfaden MD Pure Start, to neutralise free radical damage caused by pollution or if pigmentation is a problem, a cleanser containing vitamin C like Rodial Vit C Brightening Cleanser, is a good option,” advises Renee. Apply with your fingertips, massage in and wipe off with Votary Cotton Face Cloths. It’s perfectly okay if you prefer to use your hands, though, if your skin is congested, using a fresh, clean washcloth one to two times per week will add a gentle exfoliation into the mix. Just make sure it’s a fresh one every single time – a wet flannel is a breeding ground for bacteria.
What to Do After Removing Your Makeup
After you’ve completely cleansed your skin, pat dry so you’re not about to dilute whatever product you might put on your skin next and then follow up with any serums and moisturisers you usually use. If you like to use a toner to complete your cleanse go for hydrating formulas that are gentle on the skin. Kora Organics Balancing Rose Mist contains rosa damascena flower water and geranium oil and feels fresh and hydrating post-cleanse and the aloe vera and cucumber in Ilia Beauty’s Cucumber Water Stick feels amazing on tired, morning skin.